Posted tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

Al Qaeda Chief Beheaded Daniel Pearl

January 20, 2011

According to new reports, a senior al Qaeda leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl back in 2002.

From CNN:

“I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan,” Mohammed said, according to a Pentagon transcript released nearly four years ago. “For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head.”

The new report erases any doubts that Mohammed personally carried out the beheading.

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Wall Street Journal Closes Boston Office

October 29, 2009

The Wall Street Journal has announced that it will close its Boston bureau to save money and that the publication will shift its coverage of the mutual fund industry to its money and investing reporting team.

From Reuters:

“The economic background is painfully obvious to us all,” Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson told the paper’s employees in a memo. “That there has been truly great reporting… out of Boston over many, many years is not in doubt. But we remain in the midst of a profound downturn in advertising revenue and thus must think the unthinkable.”

News Corp, which owns the Journal, will keep sister news organizations Dow Jones Newswires and MarketWatch in Boston, the memo said. An investigative reporting operation for the Journal will remain too, Thomson said.

Nine bureau reporters at the Journal would have to apply for other jobs, the memo said.

A Journal spokesman declined to say how much money the closure will save. There are no plans to close other U.S. or international bureaus, Thomson wrote.

WSJ: Burgerville’s Health-Care Recipe

August 31, 2009

A great article in today’s Wall Street Journal, written by Sarah Needleman, featuring client Burgerville and their affordable employee health care program.

If you don’t believe that a fast food, quick serve or fast casual restaurant chain can provide their employees with affordable health care, you will be pleasantly surprised!

From the Wall Street Journal:

Four years ago, executives of Burgerville, a regional restaurant chain, agreed to pay at least 90% of health-care premiums for hourly employees who work at least 20 hours a week. Today, the executives say the unusual move has saved money by cutting turnover, boosting sales and improving productivity.

Burgerville’s experience is notable for the food-service industry, where turnover is high and fewer than half of chains offer health insurance for part-time hourly employees, according to People Report, a research firm. The chains that do offer benefits pay on average 49% of the cost for employees working at least 30 hours a week, People Report says.

Burgerville’s initiative “not only improves quality of service but it saves money by not having to replace staff as frequently,” said Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic Inc., a Chicago consulting and research firm for the food industry.

Burgerville, a 39-restaurant chain based in Vancouver, Wash., and owned by closely held Holland Inc., has long followed a distinctive path. It offers hormone-free meat, uses wind energy to power its stores and prints nutritional information on its receipts.

Under Burgerville’s plan, individual hourly workers can enroll in a health-maintenance organization for $15 a month, with no deductible. A worker and spouse pay $30 monthly; family plans cost $90. Salaried employees, whose plans didn’t change significantly, pay $84 a month for individual and $240 monthly for family coverage, and have an annual deductible of $500.

Executives say the plan paid for itself, and more. Turnover in 2006 plunged to 54%, from 128% in 2005. That’s a big deal when it costs an average of $1,700 to replace and train a restaurant worker, according to People Report.

Can Millennials Change the Way We Work?

December 16, 2008

How much the social-network-loving millennial generation will change the workplace has yet to be seen, but blogger Tom Davenport has seen evidence that they will try. He points readers to a recent Wall Street Journal article which quotes a teen blogger named Olivia, stating: “We are hard working and utilize tools to get the job done. But we don’t want to work more than 40 hours a week, and we want to wear clothes that are comfortable. We want to be able to spice up the dull workday by listening to our iPods. If corporate America doesn’t like that, too bad.”

I’ve included portions of both the blog by Tom Davenport and the Wall Street Journal article below. Interesting reading.

From Harvard Business Publishing:

I wrote a post a few weeks back about whether the current economic climate might lead to a somewhat reduced focus on twittering and friending a la Web 2.0. I thought my comments were fairly mild, but apparently not in the view of many commenters. I haven’t been accused so vehemently of not understanding the younger generation since I insisted that my teenaged sons go on vacation with the family.

Now I am fairly secure in my membership in Generation Jones–I still have lots of pleated pants, for example–and I find the accusations that “I just don’t get it” amusing. But the comments did make me think about the fate of the millennials as they move into the workforce. Will they bend to the whims of the workplace, or will the workplace bend to suit them?

Of course, we don’t know for sure which sort of bending will eventually win out. But there are some fun clues from two different settings. One is the award-winning AMC hit series “Mad Men,” in which the work and lives of 1960’s advertisers are fictionalized. I’m watching the second season now on my DVR; the first season is available on DVD. The ad agency chronicled in the series, Sterling Cooper, has decided that it needs to “think young,” and has hired some youthful employees to represent their generation to clients. One of them, Smitty, has lines like, “Our generation doesn’t want to be told what to do or how to act. We just want to BE,” and “Stop telling my generation what to do, man. We want to find things for ourselves, dig? We want to feel.” His actual achievements are somewhat less radical; he comes up with a new ditty to sell coffee, for example. Of course, we don’t know whether Smitty eventually sells out, but the fact that he works in an advertising agency suggests that the chances of his revolutionizing the workplace are slim.

Wall Street Journal columnist Ron Alsop’s recent article in the WSJ , “The Trophy Kids Go to Work,” includes quotes from millennials that are reminiscent of Smitty’s. The article, derived from Alsop’s new book, describes some of the work-related attitudes of the generation that got trophies for just showing up at soccer.

Now I dislike these generational generalizations, but Alsop has come up with some interesting observations. I loved this quote, for example, from Olivia, a teenage blogger: “They are finding that they have to adjust work around our lives instead of us adjusting our lives around work…What other option do they have? We are hard working and utilize tools to get the job done. But we don’t want to work more than 40 hours a week, and we want to wear clothes that are comfortable. We want to be able to spice up the dull workday by listening to our iPods. If corporate America doesn’t like that, too bad.”

From the Wall Street Journal:

Although members of other generations were considered somewhat spoiled in their youth, millennials feel an unusually strong sense of entitlement. Older adults criticize the high-maintenance rookies for demanding too much too soon. “They want to be CEO tomorrow,” is a common refrain from corporate recruiters.

More than 85% of hiring managers and human-resource executives said they feel that millennials have a stronger sense of entitlement than older workers, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.com. The generation’s greatest expectations: higher pay (74% of respondents); flexible work schedules (61%); a promotion within a year (56%); and more vacation or personal time (50%).

“They really do seem to want everything, and I can’t decide if it’s an inability or an unwillingness to make trade-offs,” says Derrick Bolton, assistant dean and M.B.A. admissions director at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. “They want to be CEO, for example, but they say they don’t want to give up time with their families.”

Millennials, of course, will have to temper their expectations as they seek employment during this deep economic slump. But their sense of entitlement is an ingrained trait that will likely resurface in a stronger job market. Some research studies indicate that the millennial generation’s great expectations stem from feelings of superiority. Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute and MonsterTrak, an online careers site, conducted a research study of 18- to 28-year-olds and found that nearly half had moderate to high superiority beliefs about themselves. The superiority factor was measured by responses to such statements as “I deserve favors from others” and “I know that I have more natural talents than most.”

For their part, millennials believe they can afford to be picky, with talent shortages looming as baby boomers retire. “They are finding that they have to adjust work around our lives instead of us adjusting our lives around work,” a teenage blogger named Olivia writes on the Web site Xanga.com. “What other option do they have? We are hard working and utilize tools to get the job done. But we don’t want to work more than 40 hours a week, and we want to wear clothes that are comfortable. We want to be able to spice up the dull workday by listening to our iPods. If corporate America doesn’t like that, too bad.”

Where do such feelings come from? Blame it on doting parents, teachers and coaches. Millennials are truly “trophy kids,” the pride and joy of their parents. The millennials were lavishly praised and often received trophies when they excelled, and sometimes when they didn’t, to avoid damaging their self-esteem. They and their parents have placed a high premium on success, filling résumés with not only academic accolades but also sports and other extracurricular activities.

Presidential Race Between Obama and McCain Is a Dead Heat

September 10, 2008

This one is going to go down to the wire as new polls show that the race for President between Barack Obama and John McCain is now a dead heat.

From MSNBC:

Republican John McCain has nearly erased Democrat Barack Obama’s national lead and turned the presidential contest into a dead heat, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

In that poll, Obama holds a narrow one-point lead over McCain (47-46 percent), which is down from his three-point advantage in August (45-42 percent) and six-point edge in July (47-41 percent).

The findings from this survey — which was conducted of 860 registered voters from Sept. 6-8, and which has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.3 percentage points — are consistent with other recent national polls showing the race to essentially be tied after the conventions and vice presidential selections.

Looking inside the numbers, McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate appears to have not only attracted female voters, but boosted McCain’s association with changing the country’s direction, and energized members of the Republican Party.

Hillary Clinton’s Speech Earns Wide Praise Across the Country

August 27, 2008

US News & World Report has an great summary of the reviews of Hillary Clinton’s speech last night at the Democratic National Convention. I was not able to watch her speech live but was able to catch a replay on CNN late last night.

From the article:

Hillary Clinton last night addressed the Democratic delegates gathered in Denver, and urged them to back her former rival Barack Obama. The speech, and Clinton’s delivery of it, are receiving extremely positive reviews in today’s newspapers. On its front page, the Los Angeles Times reports Clinton accepted “defeat with grace and generosity,” and “moved to close the divide among fellow Democrats on Tuesday night by offering a forceful and unequivocal endorsement of her fierce rival.” The New York Times reports Clinton “deferred her own dreams on Tuesday night and delivered an emphatic plea at the Democratic National Convention to unite behind her rival, Senator Barack Obama, no matter what ill will lingers.” The New York senator “betrayed none of the anger and disappointment that she still feels and that, friends say, has especially haunted her husband.” The Washington Times refers to a “rousing speech” that laid “rest to a bitter primary battle that left many of her supporters — especially women — seething months later.” The APWashington Post reports Clinton said, “You haven’t worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership. No way. No how. No McCain. Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our president.” reports “the speech was as much of an attack “on Sen. John McCain “as it was an embrace of Obama.”

The Rocky Mountain News says Clinton “did her best to put the hard feelings to rest.”

On ABC World News, which aired prior to the speech, ABC’s chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos contended that Sen. Clinton “genuinely believes that if John McCain wins it will be bad for the country. She knows that. She wants Barack Obama to win, whatever disappointment she feels. Whatever anger she feels about Barack Obama. And that’s real, too.”

Nature Of Roll Call Vote Still Undetermined Despite the effort to forge unity, a number of issues still remain to be resolved. USA Today notes that while Clinton “urged her supporters to fall in line behind the presumptive Democratic nominee,” her backers “and Obama’s are still negotiating the fine details of Wednesday night’s roll call vote for nominating the Democratic presidential candidate.” The AP notes Clinton “did not indicate whether she would have her name placed in nomination or seek a formal roll call of the states when the party’s top prize is awarded by delegates on Wednesday night.”

The Democratic Party appears to be a little concerned over recent polls showing John McCain catching, and passing Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Fox News reported, “If Barack Obama gets the traditional post-convention bounce in the polls it can’t come soon enough.” Obama “has led John McCain in the head to head surveys most of the summer but things at the moment appear to be changing.” The Gallup daily presidential tracking poll shows McCain creeping ahead of Obama 46%-44%. The race had been tied at 45% for the previous two days. The poll surveyed 2,684 registered voters from August 23-25. The Rasmussen Reports automated daily presidential tracking poll of 3,000 likely voters for August 26 shows Barack Obama and John McCain tied at 44%, and at 46%-46% including leaners. The New York Post reports that Obama “got exactly zero bounce” from his selection of Sen. Joe Biden.

The Washington Post reports on its front page that “top elected officials continued to raise questions about Obama’s campaign strategy and worried aloud that he must do more to overcome the doubts voters in their states have about his readiness to be president.” The Post adds that Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell “said that Obama is still struggling to connect with working-class voters and that the presumptive nominee reminded him of Adlai Stevenson, the brainy Illinoisan who lost the presidential campaigns of 1952 and 1956.” Sen. Chuck Schumer “said Obama’s campaign must demonstrate its willingness to engage against a Republican Party that he said is well skilled in political combat.” Both were prominent supporters of Clinton in the primary.

With only 10 weeks to go, this race is going to come down to the wire. I’m very interested in listening to Barack Obama’s acceptance speech on Thursday. Thoughts?

Barack Obama Chooses Joe Biden as Running Mate

August 23, 2008

There will be no dream ticket of Obama/Clinton. It’s official, Joe Biden has been selected as Barack Obama’s running mate for the 2008 Presidential election, though not the way that Senator Obama had hoped it would be announced.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Obama and Biden Credit: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

From Associated Press:

Barack Obama selected Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware late Friday night to be his vice presidential running mate, according to a Democratic official, balancing his ticket with a seasoned congressional veteran well-versed in foreign policy and defense issues.

Biden, 65, has twice sought the White House, and is a Catholic with blue-collar roots, a generally liberal voting record and a reputation as a long-winded orator.

Across more than 30 years in the Senate, he has served at various times not only as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee but also as head of the Judiciary Committee, with its jurisdiction over anti-crime legislation, Supreme Court nominees and Constitutional issues.

In selecting Biden, Obama passed over several other potential running mates, none more prominent than former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, his tenacious rival in dozens of primaries and caucuses.

The official who spoke did so on condition of anonymity, preferring not to pre-empt a text-message announcement the Obama campaign promised for Saturday morning.

Obama’s decision leaked to the media several hours before his aides planned to send a text message announcing the running mate, negating a promise that people who turned over their phone numbers would be the first to know who Obama had chosen.

John McCain’s campaign wasted no time in attacking Biden by using the Delaware politician’s own words against him.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Republicans have been gathering ammunition against Sen. Biden for weeks now and didn’t have to look very far. Early in the lengthy presidential primary season, while he was still a candidate himself, Sen. Biden criticized Sen. Obama’s inexperience on several occasions, as well as his foreign policy naiveté.

The idea of nominating someone without “unimpeachable credentials on national security and foreign policy,” Sen. Biden said during a radio interview in August 2007, would be “a tragic mistake.”

“There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama’s lack of experience than Joe Biden,” said McCain spokesman Ben Porritt. “Biden has denounced Barack Obama’s poor foreign policy judgment and has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realizing — that Barack Obama is not ready to be President.”

Sen. Biden is a key component of the Republicans’ counter-programming for the Democratic National Convention next week in Denver. He’s featured in three videos on a new Web site, to be launched Sunday, of Democrats criticizing Sen. Obama.

All I can say is “Let the games begin”. It should be an interesting 10 weeks until election day! Thoughts?